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Video: Obama: Private sector is ‘doing fine’

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    >>> good evening. the president has been under a lot of pressure on the economy ever since a week ago today when the last round of bad numbers came out on jobs. and every day the european financial uncertainty continues. and so today, he came out before reporters in an attempt to calm the waters, but in a charged political season with the republicans running hard after his job, he declared the private sector is doing fine and then the other side pounced. it's where we begin tonight at the white house with our chief white house correspondent chuck todd . good evening.

    >> good evening, brian. the president has been struggling to get in front of this issue and sthoe the public he's in touch with the growing concerns about the economy. that morning press conference was meant to calm the public, and insaid, those words he said, what you brought up, it set off a political fire storm .

    >> we created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months. over 800,000 just this year alone. the private sector is doing fine.

    >> the president wanted to get the upper hand in the economy debate. instead, his offhand optimistic remark about the private sector handed the republicans an easy opportunity to pounce.

    >> the private sector is so foreign to him, he might need a passport to go visit.

    >> did he see the job numbers that came out last week. the private sector is not doing fine.

    >> and of course, mitt romney got in on the action.

    >> he said the private sector is doing fine. he said the private sector is doing fine. is he really that out of touch?

    >> as the feeding frenzy grew, the president did something he rarely does, answered a shouted question later in the day in an attempt to clarify what he meant.

    >> the economy is not doing fine. i think if you look at what i said this morning and what i said consistently over the year, we have actually seen some good momentum in the private sector .

    >> the original focus was was for the european union .

    >> the decisions are tough, but we have to make them.

    >> he also warned greece not to divorce itself from the continent's economy.

    >> the greek people also need to recognize that their hardships will likely be worse if they choose to exit from the eurozone.

    >> mr. obama's strong words reflect a stark political reality. a financial collapse in europe would seriously threaten his re-election chances if it causes a u.s. downturn.

    >> most economists i talk to do not say that europe is the predominant problem right now in the u.s. economy . however, they do say it's a major factor that could affect the u.s. economy if it were to go significantly further south than where it is right now.

    >> meanwhile, the obama campaign is trying to bring attention to a comment mitt romney made. he said we need more fire manufacture, more plom, more teachers. did he not get the comment it was time to cut back. he said those comments mean that romney is against firemen and teachers. and the beat goes on.

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